For loved ones of Justine Damond, her shooting death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer remains a mystery.
The 40-year-old Australian native was shot in the alley or her southwest Minneapolis home on July 15 by a police officer. She'd called 911 after hearing what sounded like a rape.
The struggle her loved ones have gone through as they cope with what happened – and the lack of answers – is documented in a new episode of the show Australian Story, which aired Monday night on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation channel.
The episode is titled: "Without Rhyme or Reason" – you can watch it for free online here, or in this YouTube embed:
The 30-minute documentary chronicles Damond's time growing up and finding her place in the world – how she discovered her calling, and the sense of spirituality that would guide the rest of her life.
It also shows the impact "Juzzy" – as she's lovingly referred to – had on her fiance, Don Damond, as well as his son Zac Midnight-Damond.
"We got close very quickly and she felt like another Mom to me," Zac says in the video. "It was just two guys living here together and then she literally came in and just made it a home and little Juzzy things showed up everywhere like gnomes and fairies and stuffed animals and her art or pieces of Australia."
Don Damond also speaks about the circumstances the night of the shooting – he happened to be away for a work trip over the weekend, leaving Justine alone. So when she heard someone in distress in the alley, she first called Don – who told her to call 911.
"She did what any Aussie woman would do: go to the police, because you know it’s safe and they’re gonna get to the answer of it," her father, John Ruszczyk, says. "In this case, it was the wrong decision."
What we know about the Justine Damond shooting
Justine Damond went out to the alley after a squad car arrived and approached the driver's side. She was shot in the abdomen, the bullet fired from the gun of officer Mohamed Noor, who was in the passenger seat at the time.
"We've often commented on the culture of violence in America. But we really didn't ever think it would touch us," Maryan Heffernan, Justine Damond's stepmom, says in the video.
Noor has said little, declining to give an interview to the BCA, but did release a short statement expressing his condolences to Damond's family and saying he'd like to say more, but there are investigations going on.
The Hennepin County Attorney will review the case and decide whether to file criminal charges against Noor. His office got the file in September, and expects to have a decision by the end of the year.